Little Baby Amygdala
We are continuing on this path of strength and courage, but we need to do a small rabbit trail beforehand. I want to talk about your inner child this month because I feel it very important information as we continue.
What I am about to tell you is a practice I have used for years and I find it incredibly beneficial to switch the thoughts or bad habits I sometimes get stuck in. I have shared it with a few others and it has been a turning point for them as well. Hopefully it will be a beautiful switch for you!
Romans 8:1 says if you are in Christ, there is no judgment, no guilty verdict, and no condemnation to be had for you.
Yet we decide we know better and we consistently condemn and judge ourselves. Despite God Himself saying that because of Jesus there is no guilty verdict, we go ahead and make ourselves guilty. You may be saying, I don’t do that. Let me ask you… the last time you were late because of your own laziness, not planning ahead, etc., did you give yourself grace or did you condemn yourself for being so irresponsible? When you ate that extra cookie did you mentally abuse yourself thinking that abuse would keep you from making that same ‘mistake’ the next day? My next question is this: Has that worked for you? Does that change your behavior and make you proud, do you feel better about yourself? No, of course not. Condemnation and self-punishment do not change you or make you better. So perhaps its time to agree with Father and find a different way to correct ourselves.
Here is the process. The moment you realize you have messed up, or made a dumb decision, pause. Notice it and then talk to yourself about it. Some of you are going to freak out about this next part – go ahead, I’ll wait.
The amygdala we grew as babies is the part of our brains that causes us that fight, flight, or freeze moment. Dear Amygdala has truly taken good care of us in teaching us how to stay alive, quite literally! So, we have listened to her and obeyed her. Now, here’s the catch. Little Baby Amygdala has stayed small and frightened. She doesn’t collect all the facts but rather reacts based on previous, unclear circumstances. I appreciate her role and value the gift she has been for me. I also recognize she is young and scared and still tempted to play it safe, always believing she is in some crazy place of danger, needing to save us from the scary things that want to kill us. So rather than judging, condemning, berating her, I choose to honor, thank, and listen to her.
Then I let her know what we are going to do differently than we have done before.
The dialogue goes something like this:
“Sweetheart, thank you for showing me what I need to know and making me aware of ______(fill in the blank). I value your concerns and your nudging and insight. I see what you see, and I appreciate it. Now, here’s what we are going to do. This is the way we are going to respond. You don’t get to choose, and you also don’t get to have an attitude. You get to _____(fill in the blank).”
And then I tell her how we are going to behave and what we are going to do and what attitude we are going to have. I speak to myself as if I’m 2 or 3 and I tell myself how it’s going to be – all the while never condemning myself but honoring myself as valuable and worthy of care and love. This is a huge key in shifting your habits.
Now, I want you to give this some thought, let it soak in, and … Try It. Love to you my friends.
Give yourself some love. See you in a couple weeks!